Publisher description for Status anxiety / Alain de Botton.


Bibliographic record and links to related information available from the Library of Congress catalog


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Counter “Every adult life could be said to be defined by two great love stories. The first—the story of our quest for sexual love—is well known and well charted. . . . The second—the story of our quest for love from the world—is a more secret and shameful tale. And yet this second love story is no less intense than the first.”

This is a book about an almost universal anxiety that rarely gets mentioned directly: an anxiety about what others think of us, about whether we’re judged a success or a failure, a winner or a loser. This is a book about status anxiety.

Alain de Botton, best-selling author of The Consolations of Philosophy and The Art of Travel, asks—with lucidity and charm—where our worries about status come from and what, if anything, we can do to surmount them. With the help of philosophers, artists and writers, he examines the origins of status anxiety (ranging from the consequences of the French Revolution to our secret dismay at the success of our friends) before revealing ingenious ways in which people have been able to overcome their worries in the search for happiness. We learn about sandal-less philosophers and topless bohemians, about the benefits of putting skulls on our sideboards, and about looking at ancient ruins.

The result is a book that isn’t just highly entertaining and thought-provoking, but that is genuinely wise and helpful, too.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Social status, Social status Psychological aspects